Was Tim Tebow Persecution ESPN's Fault?

Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow prays after a Broncos game in Denver, Jan. 8, 2012. (Reuters/Marc Piscotty)

Tim Tebow received a lot of media attention in 2011, leading to persecution for his openness about his faith. Now ESPN’s president has accepted some of the blame.

“We gave him a lot of attention. I’ve said before, we probably overdid it,” ESPN President John Skipper admitted in an article published Tuesday in The Hollywood Reporter. “And that makes people sort of suspicious of him. It’s not his fault. He is genuinely a very likable guy.”

Tebow, who won a Heisman Trophy as the University of Florida’s quarterback, became a mainstream sensation as the backup quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2011. He was often praised and ridiculed for his kneeling prayer on the field, which became known as “Tebowing.”

The quarterback retired from the NFL in December when he was hired by ESPN but has said he would go back to the sport if he got the chance.

He’s currently a college football analyst for SEC Nation, which will migrate to the SEC Network when it launches in August. Skipper says Tebow has done well in his new role.

“We have been thrilled,” he explains. “We thought it might take him a little longer to get comfortable. He's very knowledgeable. It's beyond our expectations.”

Skipper adds, “He’s a very nice man. He says, ‘Yes.’ ‘How did I do?’ ‘How can I get better?’ and ‘Thank you.’ You can see why people like him.”

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